When it comes to business, women face additional barriers to entry than our male counterparts. From lack of funding to not being taken as seriously. We’ve often found ourselves not just growing a business, but trying also constantly having to prove ourselves. But there’s hope, recent years have shown that women are pushing past obstacles and finding success.
We’re finding ways to make our dreams our realities, despite invisible walls and glass ceilings. Social media has allowed us to get out in front of our products or services and tell our story. There’s been a growth in grants for women-owned businesses and crowd-funding platforms have helped many women-owned businesses get around adverse bank lending practices.
Yet despite the progress that we’re making there is still a lot to learn. If you’ve been considering taking the leap into entrepreneurship, we’ve got a few tips for you!
be professional… even if you work from home
The internet has made it easier for women to start a business online with less financial burden. The overheads of an office space can disappear, but you’ll also need to take a few steps to maintain professionalism. Learning time management skills has to be a top priority. You don’t want to miss deadlines, be late with shipping out product, or miss an opportunity to provide steller customer service.
Also, consider using services like a professional business address with Your Company Formations to give you an edge by providing an actual street address, instead of a PO Box, for your business. Create a website, even if you’re a home-based service business. Have business cards or marketing cards created and have a dedicated business line – even if it’s just a Google Voice phone number. You want to legitimize your efforts and not just look like a work-from-home freelancer.
getting around the good ol’ boys’ clubs
Male-dominated industries still account for the vast majority of business fields out there. Overt discrimination is very much a thing, but hidden and unconscious bias can also be hugely limiting. Potential business and marketing partners might not take you as seriously. With the growing number of female entrepreneurs, you might not have to fall into the “superwoman” complex of feeling you have to work extra hard to prove yourself. There’s a growing number of professional women networking groups at Driven Woman that could be the source of help, information, and support that your business deserves.
creating a solid reputation
Starting a business in an industry where you have some clout is always preferable, but most businesses start with a relatively clean slate. Building confidence in an unfamiliar area or skill can take time. And when you have not history in an industry or a known reputation to refer to it can make it difficult to convince customers and other business owners to trust your brand. BM Magazine shows that reputation management is just as much as a key to success as building a professional brand.
A great personal brand can also help. Create a site that acts as your personal portfolio. Consider contributing insightful, valuable content to well-established online readerships also. This will help to establish your credibility in this new field. Start soliciting customer feedback, in social media, on your website, and in online review spaces.